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Protein Losing Enteropathy, also known more simply as PLE, is one of the most challenging of the metabolic disease to diagnose and understand. PLE occurs in many different breeds but is more common in the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier and the Basenji breeds. The condition is more common in small to medium breeds of dogs and is becoming more common in toy breeds. Both males and females are typically equally diagnosed and the condition can occur at any age. Often the symptoms are rather subtle and may simply be noted by the owner as a constant or chronic problem with diarrhea for the dog. In severe cases excessive weight loss and even swelling in the abdominal cavity can occur since the protein content of the body is so depleted that typical metabolic activity can occur. Once swelling or edema occurs in the chest, breathing will become labored and problematic and the dog may refuse to eat or want to exercise or move about. Lack of energy, fatigue and constant inactivity is considered to be the most common symptom noted in both advanced and early stages of the disease. [...]
Like Protein Losing Enteropathy, which is a protein and plasma losing disease of the gastrointestinal system, protein losing nephropathy allows protein and plasma to be lost from the kidneys. The medical term for protein losing nephropathy is glomerulopathies, which covers the entire range of protein losing conditions of the kidneys. Over time this condition results in a lack of protein to fuel the body, resulting in a shutdown of the metabolic processes, build of up fluid in the abdomen and chest cavities, and eventual death from complications with edema if not treated. With the kidneys affected the eventual result of the disease is renal failure, which is fatal in dogs. Typically PLN is seen in the same breeds that are affected by PLE, however PLN is more common in females than males and can often occur in dogs that are between the ages of two to six years. Breeds that are more predisposed to the condition include Samoyeds, Soft-coated Wheaten Terriers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Rottweilers, Beagles, Dobermans and Greyhounds. [...]
Yeast dermatitis or yeast infections, more formally known as Malessezia Dermatitis, can occur on almost any type, age or breed or dog. Most commonly it is found on dogs with double coats where the ideal warm, moist environments for the yeast to grow and spread are naturally more optimal. However, even short haired and single coated breeds of dogs do get yeast dermatitis under the right conditions.
All dogs have some yeast present on their skin at all times. During times of stress, during allergic reactions or even during different phases of the reproductive cycle the skin may produce additional oils, which lead to an ideal growth medium for the yeast. Dogs with naturally oily skin or with existing skin conditions such as seborrhea are the most likely candidates to develop yeast dermatitis. Since seborrhea may be caused by several factors it is very important to work closely with the vet to try to determine the cause of the excessive oil production. [...]
This condition has long been a problem in draft horses and horses that are worked consistently through the week and then given a day or two of rest. Azoturia, also know as Tying Up Syndrome, Monday Morning Sickness, and Equine Rhabdomyolosis Syndrome, is a muscle and metabolic problem that results in painful cramping of the leg muscles, inability to walk and move, shortened stride and blood or dark coloration in the urine, excessive sweating and changes in gait and stride. If the azoturia is pronounced the muscles may appear very hard and stiff even to the touch and the horse may have problems in controlling the hindquarters, occasionally resulting in collapse. While not usually life threatening it can be serious once the kidneys become involved so early treatment and proper management of the horse is important. [...]
Some horses, especially those that have a longer body or more crest or arch to their neck will occasionally develop problems with bending and movement of the spine as they get older or if they are injured in some way. Just like with people, the horse's spine is made up of a series of vertebrae that are cushioned with cartilage known as discs. The spinal cord runs through the center of the discs and vertebrae, sending impulses and nerve messages through to the various parts of the body to keep the horse moving. Unlike people, the horse's spine is not really flexible except in the neck region and where the spine and the hindquarters or pelvis come together, the rest is basically rigid and strong. [...]
The red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to the various cells of the body so they are able to function and move. Each cell in the horse's body needs oxygen to do its job and without all cells working properly the horse will experience any number of health related problems.
Anemia, or lack of red blood cells in the body results in poor blood aeration or ability to carry oxygen to the body. Anemia is actually relatively common in horses of all ages and breeds, although Arabians and some Thoroughbred lines in particular are more prone to anemia than some of the coldbloods or heavier horses. [...]
There is nothing as horrible as having a wonderful, healthy horse suddenly become ill. Often there are few precursor signs and symptoms to signal that the horse may be developing cardiac or respiratory problems that, when left untreated, can be fatal.
Horses in general are highly unlikely to have sudden heart failure that leads to immediate death. What we know as cardiac failure in humans is rare in horses, rather they tend to have poorer functioning of the heart muscle resulting in fatigue, inability to exercise or work and lethargy and lack of energy and enthusiasm. Horses, by nature, are very curious and active animals, so any changes in their interest in the environment around them or changes from active, energetic horses to tired, inactive horses are usually signs of a serious health condition. These conditions tend to become more significant as the horse ages, and may even be mistaken for old age. [...]
Horses may develop a bad habit of gulping their food too fast and not chewing it as much as it needs to be before swallowing. In both of these cases the food can actually lodge in the horse's esophagus, resulting in a condition known as choke. Choke is most often not life threatening, but it can be very alarming to both the horse and the owner, and can potentially be problematic if the blockage does not clear on its own.
One of the biggest causes of choke is found in horses that are feed dry feed pellets or hay cubes, or feed that is high in beet pulp. All of these types of feeds are very dry and expand when the moisture in the horse's mouth and digestive tract come into contact with the food. If the horse is in a hurry to eat or is just lazy and doesn't break up the food and mix the saliva in with the feed in the mouth, the food absorbs the moisture further down the throat. [...]
The term colic is generally understood by horse owners and vets alike to mean any type of pain or discomfort in the stomach of the horse, although it can be caused by several different factors. Some horse are more prone to problems with colic while other horses, on the same pasture and getting the same types of feed will have no problems whatsoever. It is likely that there are some breed differences as well as hereditary components to horses with constant colic and research is ongoing.
Colic can range in severity from a slight pain and annoyance to the horse right up to a fatal blockage of the gastro-intestinal tract. Since there are many different types of colic the first step is to understand what is the cause, then choose the correct treatment and prevention method. [...]
Cribbing, also know as wind sucking, is a common problem in horses that are stabled all the time or that are constantly under stress. Experts in horse behavior believe that the start of the problem is usually boredom when horses are confined to small spaces for long periods of time, then it may actually evolve into a habit or obsessive compulsive type behavior for the horse as a response to or way of dealing with stress. In rare cases there may be health issues, especially excessive acidity in the stomach that can be noted with cribbing, but whether it is the cause or the result of the behavior is still being debated. [...]
Cushing's disease is one of the few disease found in horses that is very rarely seen in horses under twenty years of age. Any breed of horse can develop Cushing's disease however it is most prone in Morgan horses and crosses with Morgans. Mares, geldings and stallions are equally at risk for developing the condition and both working horses as well as pleasure horses seem have about the same odds for Cushing's disease.
The first signs of Cushing's disease are usually noted in the coat. The horse will retain or develop a thick, winter like coat that does not shed, even in the warm summer months. Typically the long, thick hair will be curly or wavy in appearance and will be dull and much longer than the winter hair the horse would have normally grown. [...]
Just like any type of mammal, the horse depends on the spine and skeleton to support the body, and the spinal chord and the brain to send impulses through the skeleton and muscles to move. In conditions that are known as degenerative disorders there are either toxins, injuries, infections, genetic conditions or other forms of diseases that cause the natural functioning of the skeleton or nervous systems to degenerate or break down over time. Once these conditions are present, unless noticed and treated very early on there is likely to be permanent and non-reversable damage that will affect the horse throughout his or her life, even if the condition is managed. [...]
Horses, like any other animal, can suffer from different diseases, pathogens and infections of the digestive and urinary tract. Often these conditions are signs and symptoms of much more serious conditions, many which can be fatal. Some causes of diarrhea or colored urine in horses can also be infections that are relatively localized and easily treated as long as they do not become progressively worse through lack of treatment.
Diarrhea can be ongoing or chronic, or it can be episodic, lasting only a few days. Often diarrhea in horses is due to a highly infectious disease known as Salmonellosis. This condition is caused by the bacteria Salmonella, which is commonly found in small numbers as a helpful digestive bacteria in most horses. For some reason, often illness, colitis or even other health issues or exposure to other infected horse's fecal material, the bacteria multiplies and becomes problematic. [...]
Some breeds of horses, especially the Lithuanian Heavy Draft Horse, are prone to posture problems that result in a dipped back. Typically dipped back, which gives a characteristic sway or noticeable depression in the back where a saddle would normally sit, becomes more pronounced and obvious as the horses ages. This is due to a combination of factors including natural degeneration of the muscles supporting the spine, decrease in muscle tone over the entire body as well as increase in the weight of the horse that is supported by the spine. In breeds of horses with very long backs or in large draft horses that simply weigh more the likelihood of dipped back is greater than in shorter backed, lighter breeds. [...]
Equine encephalomyelitis, also commonly known as sleeping sickness or sleeping disease is caused by one of several different strains of the encephalomyelitis virus. It can be extremely dangerous and horses, birds and even humans can develop sleeping sickness if infected. The disease is actually transmitted by mosquitoes that bite an infected bird and pick up the virus, then bite a human, horse or other bird. Once a horse or human is infected, he or she cannot pass sleeping sickness on to another horse or person, so there is no need to be concerned about direct transmission to others. The encephalomyelitis lives in the bird species with the most commonly infected birds being ducks, chickens, pheasants, turkeys and quail with pigeons also being carriers of the disease. In birds the virus is not usually fatal, but it can be when transferred to a human or equine host. [...]